05 December 2008
The aim of this preliminary study was to assess variation in thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone; TSH) levels using an immunoradiometric assay during the first 6 months of life of normal infants. One hundred and five normal newborns (59 females, 46 males) were evaluated for TSH, triiodothyronine and thyroxine at 48 h of life, and TSH was additionally determined at 15 days (n = 42), 30 days (n = 38), 60 days (n = 24), 90 days (n = 28), and 180 days (n = 30). Complete determinations during the total period of the study were obtained in 17 infants. Samples corresponding to the 48-hour period did not exhibit a normal distribution. In this group, percentile 3 corresponded to 0.9 mU/1, the median to 4.2 mU/1 and percentile 97 to 17.7 mU/1. Levels of TSH similar to those of the normal adult population were reached between 30 and 60 days of life. Nevertheless, TSH levels of some of the children remained at higher values for a longer period. In summary, our results suggest that high TSH levels might not always indicate an underlying pathology. A critical evaluation of the normality criteria could avoid unnecessary studies and treatments.